Atlantic Coast Line Co v. Driggers, No. 225

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtSANFORD
Citation73 L.Ed. 957,49 S.Ct. 490,279 U.S. 787
Docket NumberNo. 225
Decision Date03 June 1929
PartiesATLANTIC COAST LINE R. CO. v. DRIGGERS

279 U.S. 787
49 S.Ct. 490
73 L.Ed. 957
ATLANTIC COAST LINE R. CO.

v.

DRIGGERS.

No. 225.
Argued April 9 and 10, 1929.
Decided June 3, 1929.

Page 788

Mr. Thomas W. Davis, of Wilmington, N. C., for petitioner.

Mr. Louis M. Shinel, of Charleston, S. C., for respondent.

Mr. Justice SANFORD delivered the opinion of the Court.

William A. Driggers, an employee of the Railroad Company, suffered personal injuries that resulted in his death. The administratrix of his estate brought this action against the Railroad Company in a common pleas court of South Carolina. At the conclusion of the evidence the Railroad Company moved for a directed verdict. This was denied. The jury found for the administratrix; and the judgment entered on the verdict was affirmed by the Supreme Court of the State.

It is unquestioned that the case is controlled by the Federal Employers' Liability Act (45 USCA §§ 51-59), under which it was prosecuted. Therefore, if it appears from the record that under the applicable principles of law as interpreted by the Federal courts, the evidence was not sufficient in kind or amount to warrant a finding that the negligence of the Railroad Company was the cause of the death, the judgment must be reversed. Atlantic Coast Line R. Co. v. Davis, 279 U. S. 34, 35, 49 S. Ct. 210 (73 L. Ed. —), and cases cited.

Page 789

Driggers had been employed by the Railroad Company for about five years, and for about six months had been a member of a switching crew. He was injured by stepping off the footboard of the switch engine while it was in motion and striking the engine of a local passenger train that was passing along an adjacent track.

The scene of the accident was about three miles north of Charleston, within the yard limits, at a point where the Railroad Company has parallel double tracks, running north and south; the eastern being the northbound main line; and the western, the southbound main line. These lines are about 12 feet apart measured from center to center, with a clearance of 7 feet 8 1/2 inches from rail to rail. The tracks are practically straight, and for a distance of about 2,000 feet to the north there is no obstruction to the view along the tracks. Leading from the northbound main line there is a spur track-called the Etiwan Lead-running in a northeasterly course, on a northerly curve, to a coal yard. The switch for this spur track is controlled by a lever on the east side of the main line. In leaving the main line and proceeding along the spur track for about three car lengths, that is about 120 feet, the view to the north along the main line tracks was unobstructed; but beyond this distance there was shrubbery and a billboard on the north side of the track which obstructed the view to the north. This spur track was used by the switching crew every day, sometimes more than once. On the day of the accident-which was clear and bright-the switch engine left Charleston and went up the northbound main line for the purpose of transferring some cars on the Etiwan Lead to a...

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32 practice notes
  • Francis v. Terminal Railroad Assn., No. 39573.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 8, 1946
    ...his unintentionally stepping into a dangerous position was the sole proximate cause of his injury. Atlantic Coast Line R. Co. v. Driggers, 279 U.S. 787, 73 L. Ed. 957; Brady v. Southern R. Co., 320 U.S. 476, 88 L. Ed. 239, 64 S. Ct. 232. (16) Plaintiff and a steamfitter, Gastorf, were at th......
  • Johnson v. Southern Railway Co., No. 38571.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • October 4, 1943
    ...cause of his fatal injury, then there can be no recovery. B. & O.R. Co. v. Berry, 286 U.S. 272; Atlantic Coast Line R. Co. v. Driggers, 279 U.S. 787. (6) The testimony of Minnie E. Johnson relative to words spoken by the deceased, Samuel R. Johnson, while unconscious and in a severe shocked......
  • Mooney v. Terminal Railroad Association, No. 38122.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • January 3, 1944
    ...Decedent's negligence was the sole cause of his death. This bars a recovery by respondent. Atlantic Coast Line v. Driggers, 229 U.S. 787, 73 L. Ed. 957; Robison v. C. & E.I.R. Co., 334 Mo. 81, 64 S.W. (2d) 660; Hough v. C., R.I. & P.R. Co., 339 Mo. 1169, 100 S.W. (2d) 499. (9) Respondent's ......
  • Louisville & N. R. Co. v. Parker, 6 Div. 471.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • June 27, 1931
    ...be heard to say that his subordinate ought not to have done what he ordered." In the case of Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Co. v. Driggers, 279 U.S. 787, 49 S.Ct. 490, 73 L.Ed. 957, the manner of the injury is thus stated by the court: "Driggers had been employed by the Railroad Company for ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
32 cases
  • Francis v. Terminal Railroad Assn., No. 39573.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 8, 1946
    ...his unintentionally stepping into a dangerous position was the sole proximate cause of his injury. Atlantic Coast Line R. Co. v. Driggers, 279 U.S. 787, 73 L. Ed. 957; Brady v. Southern R. Co., 320 U.S. 476, 88 L. Ed. 239, 64 S. Ct. 232. (16) Plaintiff and a steamfitter, Gastorf, were at th......
  • Johnson v. Southern Railway Co., No. 38571.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • October 4, 1943
    ...cause of his fatal injury, then there can be no recovery. B. & O.R. Co. v. Berry, 286 U.S. 272; Atlantic Coast Line R. Co. v. Driggers, 279 U.S. 787. (6) The testimony of Minnie E. Johnson relative to words spoken by the deceased, Samuel R. Johnson, while unconscious and in a severe shocked......
  • Mooney v. Terminal Railroad Association, No. 38122.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • January 3, 1944
    ...Decedent's negligence was the sole cause of his death. This bars a recovery by respondent. Atlantic Coast Line v. Driggers, 229 U.S. 787, 73 L. Ed. 957; Robison v. C. & E.I.R. Co., 334 Mo. 81, 64 S.W. (2d) 660; Hough v. C., R.I. & P.R. Co., 339 Mo. 1169, 100 S.W. (2d) 499. (9) Respondent's ......
  • Louisville & N. R. Co. v. Parker, 6 Div. 471.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • June 27, 1931
    ...be heard to say that his subordinate ought not to have done what he ordered." In the case of Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Co. v. Driggers, 279 U.S. 787, 49 S.Ct. 490, 73 L.Ed. 957, the manner of the injury is thus stated by the court: "Driggers had been employed by the Railroad Company for ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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